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Save energy with ceiling fans
Eugene Adams Inc. Newsletter Spring 2004
Heating and cooling - ceiling fans

A ceiling fan is not only decorative, but functional too - a cooling breeze during the summer can help circulate your central air conditioning and lower your monthly costs. It even helps during the winter, by circulating heat that stagnates at the ceiling. Just use the reversing switch to change the direction of the fan blades and set it on the slowest speed. This will gently push the warm air down from the ceiling without stirring up a chilly breeze.

What to look for - Ceiling fans usually have a direct-drive motor or a friction-drive motor. Direct-drive models have fewer moving parts, run more quietly and work more efficiently than friction-drive. They'are also more expensive, but the added comfort and quiet is worth the extra cost. Both types usually offer one to three fan speeds, and operate with pull-chains or wall switches, or a combination of both. The more money you spend, the more features you get, including decorative wood blades, variable-speed motors, remote contrls and dimmable lights.

Getting the right size - A ceiling fan with a 36- or 38-inche blade span is adequate for a room measuring 10x10 feet or less. For larger rooms, look for a 48-, 52- or 54-inche diameter fan. Fans should be installed at least seven feet above the floor. If you have lower ceilings, look for a "ceiling hugger" instead of a "down-mount" model.

Do it yourself or hire a pro? - If you're replacing an existing ceiling fan with a new model, you can do it yourself if you have previous experience with wiring. If you're installing a ceiling fan from scratch or the room isn't wired for one, call a certfied electrician or home handyman to do it for you.